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Wednesday, June 29, 2011


I've never really understood the whole "gonna go to Starbucks, hang out and do...stuff" thing. Mostly because the "stuff" is generally school stuff, studying stuff, alone with your thoughts stuff, writing a novel stuff...the kind of stuff that one might easily be distracted from anytime the blender went off, or the barista shouted out someones order. PS, is that what coffee people like to be called? Baristas? I'm not sure that I've ever used that word until now. Probably because I'm currently sitting in a Starbucks and otherwise wouldn't have occasion to use that word. And do people actually say that? "Pardon me, barista, can you leave room for cream?" That word just smacks of a snotty attitude. *Author's note: my apologies to anyone who uses that word on the regular. Love you guys!* Anylatte, to me, Starbucks as a place to do "stuff" never made sense to me. Until now.

I'm sitting in a Starbucks right now, doing "stuff", that "stuff" being writing this boog and it feels right. There's my pal Jess sitting across from me, people to watch, conversations to listen to, music that's boppin my head, delicious things for my nose to smell(unless a hobo comes in here and sits by me, then all bets are off. But who am I kidding, hobos can't afford Starbucks. Not even a River Forest hobo!) There's a lot of potential material here!

As I look around at my fellow Bucksers, I kind of want to make up scenarios about what their story is. Like the couple right outside the window, who happen to be facing me and who keep catching me staring at them. *Second author's note: In defense of my staring, I need y'all to know I am an out-the-window starer, I'm doglike in that respect. It's not my fault they positioned themselves directly in my line of vision!* But I wonder what their deal is, random shopping trip to the Men's Wearhouse, got thirsty for a Pike's Place Roast? Romantic stroll down Harlem, hey let's pop into Starbucks? Last stop on a first date? Oh shit, they just caught me staring at them kiss. And now they're leaving. I think it's safe to say they're now wondering what my perverted deal is. *Third author's note: I'm not really a pervert, I just play one in the movies.*

Okay, and the young man talking at his guess is he's a college student from someplace international, someplace exotic, and he's Skyping with his family, telling them all about the thesis he's writing about something college-y and hard to pronounce. Or he loves "Just My Imagination" and is simply rockin out.

Hmmm...I'm really curious about the new group that just moved in consisting of 2 older couples and a younger gentleman, who have just said a prayer before snacking on bagels and coffee. And now they're talking about camping. The younger guy has pushed his chair away from the table a little, and is not participating in the camping discussion. What is happening? Oh my god, what if he was kidnapped by these people while they were all camping! Don't drink that coffee, fella! I think that you've been kidnapped and they are drugging your coffee! They're going to make you the pool boy in their weird religious summer camp for the elderly!!! Okay, now I'm letting my imagination run wild...

How about the man reading the newspaper with no coffee or any other sort of Starbucks product anywhere near him. I wonder if his power is out because he couldn't afford to pay the bill this month, you know, money has been tight ever since his son Jonesy got out of the slammer, and that no-goodnik hasn't gotten a job on account of his useless hand, thanks to a shiv-fight he got in that jacked up the tendon in his thumb. So this poor shlub has been workin two jobs to support him and his boy Jonesy, only he got laid of from the Port-a-Potty job for showing up drunk last week, but how else was he supposed to get through those long days of cleaning the filthiest of other people's filth? So when he lost the Port-a-Potty job, he had to make some decisions, some hard decisions, lights or booze...booze wins every time. And once the lights were shut off, he was feeling out of the loop, so he headed to a place where he knew there would be lights and an opportunity to catch up current events, so here he is.

Wow, I really got into that last one...I need a minute.

Point is, I get it, I get the whole going to Starbucks to do "stuff" thing. I mean, shit, if I hadn't come, I wouldn't be bopping along to Jackie Wilson, writing about nonsense, and I think I speak for all 2 of you who read this when I say thank you, Starbucks, thank you.

You want a scene? I'll show you a scene...

I want to throw a tantrum, a balls-to-the-wall, throat shredding, fling-myself-onto-the-floor, scream-till-my-eyes-feel-like-they're-going-to-pop-out tantrum. I want to do this, and I only want to have to sheepishly say "I'm sorry" after I'm through, then fall asleep on my couch, because obviously I'll be plum-tuckered out from my tantrum. I don't want to have to worry about my wife wanting to talk about it, I don't want to worry about my friends defriending me or taking a break from me, I don't want to worry about explaining myself, or being made to feel crazy, or foolish...I just want to throw this tantrum, flip my shit, say sorry, and have that be it.

When you're a kid, you throw the tantrum because you don't understand something, or things haven't gone your way, and you don't get why. Can't that still happen to us as adults? I know for me, sometimes I simply don't know what's wrong. Sometimes what's wrong are feelings I don't understand, or a fear I have about things that can't be changed, or just a general irritation with my inability to not want to throw a tantrum.

Nowadays, us adults, we're expected to talk about it, try and figure out the root of our anger, bring up things from the past to get to bottom of the present. As much as I love that idea in theory, it doesn't always work. Tell me what the eff good talking about some of this stuff will do? Maybe I don't want to just suck it up and be an adult about it, I want to be a child about it. I think we're doing ourselves a disservice if we don't allow ourselves to occasionally experience the pure joy of anger. We allow ourselves to feel the pureness of every other emotion, so why not anger? Tantrums are the most natural and pure reaction to things that upset us, things that we don't understand, and so long as we're not throwing them at a rapid pace, I think tantrums should be considered gifts from God.

I know, I know, they're childish and immature, but you know what? I like being childish and immature. I love to swing, and play with Legos, and tease, and get tucked in, and have a Slurpee, and eat french toast cut into tiny pieces the way my mom used to cut it for me...I like things that remind me of being childish...tantrums included.

If I had an extra closet, I think I would pad it with gym mats and put a bunch of pillows in there, and stuff to kick. Then, whenever I felt like this, I would go into my tantrum closet and just lose my mind. And I know there are plenty of you out there who would be getting in line right behind me...